Hermeneutic Circle

H Circle SlideThis image is a slide from the presentation I’m developing on my next book, The Presence of the Infinite: The Spiritual Experience of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness. Here’s a brief excerpt from the Introduction that explains the slide:

“Spiritual experience cannot be understood in a vacuum. It is almost always received in the context of some form of spiritual teaching and practice. And almost all spiritual teachings are organized around a specific concept of ultimate reality. Therefore, gaining a deeper understanding of spiritual experience requires us to engage the “hermeneutic circle” of teachings, practices, and the idea of experience itself. Teachings illuminate practice, practice results in experience, and experience in turn refines and develops teachings and practices.”